Polar Biology

, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp 1–9 | Cite as

The influence of feeding on the metabolic activity of Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba Dana)

  • T. Ikeda
  • P. Dixon


The influence of feeding on the metabolic activity of juvenile krill was assessed from 24h experiments in which krill were incubated with various concentrations of diatoms (Chaetoceros calcitrans, Phaeodactylum tricornutum, Thalassiosira eccentrica, Fragilariopsis vanheurkii), newly hatched Artemia nauplii and latex beads. Krill fed on the larger food more efficiently, with reluctant feeding on latex beads. Feeding of krill expressed as clearance rates was poorly correlated with their oxygen uptake rates. Instead, a positive correlation was found between the oxygen uptake rates and ingestion rate (except for latex beads). The result implies that the specific dynamic action is the major cause of the increased oxygen uptake of krill. Krill fed diatoms increased both ammonia and phosphate excretion with increasing ingestion rate, but only phosphate excretion was increased in parallel with ingestion rate for those fed Artemia nauplii. Assuming the daily ration of krill in the field is 5% of the body weight, and the major food source is phytoplankton, oxygen uptake, ammonia excretion and phosphate excretion rates of wild krill are estimated to be 1.6, 4.5 and 7.8, respectively, times the rates of non-feeding krill in 24h laboratory experiments. Krill offered various kinds of food showed different metabolic quotients (O/N, N/P and O/P ratios). While no functional relationship was seen between the metabolic quotient and the ingestion rate of krill fed Artemia nauplii, those fed Fragilariopsis showed a progressive decrease in O/N, N/P, and O/P ratios as their ingestion rates increased.


Ingestion Rate Oxygen Uptake Rate Ammonia Excretion Latex Bead Phaeodactylum Tricornutum 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Ikeda
    • 1
  • P. Dixon
    • 2
  1. 1.Antarctic DivisionDepartment of Science and TechnologyKingstonAustralia
  2. 2.Australian Institute of Marine ScienceTownsville, M.S.O.Australia

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